Whole Earth Farms Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms dog food is made by Merrick Pet Care, Incorporated, based in Amarillo, Texas. According to the Whole Earth Farms web site, the food specializes in naturally nutritious food at a great value. They produce kibble and canned foods, including grain free options. The food is made in the United States and the company says that no ingredients come from China. They use no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-products, no artificial colors, and no artificial preservatives. The company says they are the perfect food for people interested in exploring natural pet food.
According to a cost comparison page on the food’s web site, the food costs less to serve, per day, than grocery store brands such as Pedigree, Iams, Purina One, and the popular Nutro Max sold in pet stores:
Who Manufactures Whole Earth Farms dog food?
Merrick, the manufacturer of Whole Earth Farms dog food, has been making pet treats since 1988 and premium dog food since 2003. They make their own kibble, canned food, and treats in Texas and recently built a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.
Whole Earth Farms Recalls 2017
We did not find any recalls in the FDA or AVMA databases involving Whole Earth Farms dog foods, which is a relatively new food. However, Merrick has had several recalls. Their recalls mostly involved pet treats.
Whole Earth Farm Dog Food Coupons 2017
Whole Earth Farms Reviews
As mentioned, Whole Earth Farms states (repeatedly) that their food is naturally nutritious at a good value. Sometimes this is code for cheaper ingredients. They also state that they use no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-products, no artificial colors, no artificial preservatives and no ingredients from China. That’s all well and good, but it makes you wonder what is left to put in the food, especially if the food is not very expensive.
Note, we think it’s great when you don’t have to sell a kidney to buy dog food. However, dog foods that use lower cost as a selling point tend to raise a red flag.
Since this does appear to be a new dog food or at least a new product line, Whole Earth Farms does not have a lot of products yet. Their web site shows four kinds of kibble: Adult Recipe, Puppy Recipe, Grain Free Recipe with Chicken & Turkey, and Grain Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb (Poultry Free). All of these adult formulas are 26/13 crude protein/crude fat, with 348 calories. The puppy formula is 26/12 with 340 calories. They are all formulated to meet AAFCO approval for all life stages.
Whole Earth Farms also has seven kinds of grain free canned dog food: grain free adult, grain free puppy, grain free hearty chicken stew, grain free hearty turkey stew, grain free hearty beef stew, grain free chicken & turkey recipe, and grain free red meat recipe. Based on 12.7 ounce cans, these canned foods range between 8 and 10 percent crude protein and 3 and 6.5 percent crude fat. Calories range from about 290 to nearly 400 ME. They meet AAFCO approval for all life stages.
A cursory look at the ingredients in the foods shows that they look very good.
How would you rate Whole Earth Farms:
Our Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb (Poultry Free) Dog Food Review:
Since grain free dog foods are so popular, many dog owners will probably be interested in Whole Earth Farms grain free dog foods. We have chosen Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb (Poultry Free) dog food for our review. The first five ingredients in this food are:
- Pork Meal
- Dried Potatoes
- Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
- Sweet Potatoes
Pork meal is the only meat protein in the first several ingredients. If you believe, as many people do, that a good dog food should have at least a couple of meat proteins in the first few ingredients, then this will concern you.
Pork meal is a perfectly good meat protein for dogs. There are some other good quality dog foods that use it, such as Eagle Pack. The concern here is that it’s the only meat protein in the first few ingredients. As with other meals, most of the moisture and fat is removed, leaving mostly protein. Pork is up to 80 percent protein and a good source of nutrition.
Although this is a grain free dog food, it does contain carbs in the form of potatoes and sweet potatoes, in particular. Potatoes are around 92 percent carbs with 7 percent protein; and sweet potatoes are 93 percent carbs with 6 percent protein. Both are good sources of dietary fiber. Some dog owners worry about sugar overload and their dog’s glycemic index but, honestly, unless your dog has known issues with his blood sugar, you probably don’t need to be worried about potatoes too much. Don’t give your dog a bowl of mashed potatoes for dinner, obviously. But mixed in a dog food recipe, they won’t be a problem for most dogs.
Peas, however, can be a problem for some dogs. Peas in dog food usually refer to field peas (split peas – yellow or green). They have around 22-24 percent protein and they provide some fiber as well as some good vitamins and minerals. But some dogs have difficulty digesting them. They have been used in livestock feed, with success, for years, but dogs don’t have four stomachs, like a cow, to help digest them. If your dog has digestive problems with a dog food, it’s often because the food contains peas, pea fiber, pea starch, or pea protein. It’s becoming hard to find dog foods that don’t contain this plant source of protein.
People often worry about carbs when they should be worrying about plant proteins being substituted for meat proteins. “Peas” probably look harmless when a dog owner reads them on the label, but they fulfill exactly the same function as corn in a dog food – they are a less expensive way of adding protein, fiber, and other things to the dog food. Most dogs can digest corn adequately, depending on how it’s processed. But a lot of dogs have problems digesting peas in their various forms. We understand why dog food companies look for plant sources of protein to use instead of meat – they are much cheaper and dog food companies have to make a profit like every other kind of business. But, as owners, we have to choose foods that provide the best nutrition for our dogs. Meat protein is definitely better than plant protein.
However, dog foods that are made up of lots of meat protein also cost a lot. So, we all have to find our own comfort level and figure out what we can afford to feed our dogs. Generally speaking, the more meat in the dog food, the more expensive it is. You don’t have to feed your dog a dog food that is all meat. But you do need to avoid some of the dog foods that have too much plant protein. Make sure your dog is getting some good meat protein in his diet even if you have to spend a little more money. Your dog will digest a dog food with meat protein better and be able to use more of the nutrients.
The food also contains pork fat (with mixed tocopherols). Pork fat is a named fat. Your dog should love the taste it adds to the food. It’s a source of energy and some vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they need fat in order for your dog to be able to use them. In case you’re wondering, “mixed tocopherols” are a natural preservative made up of different forms of vitamin E.
Other ingredients to note in this food include beef (the sixth ingredient) – a good source of protein. We wish it was higher in the list; and lamb as the eighth ingredient. Again, we wish this ingredient came higher. This food is labeled “with Beef & Lamb,” but if you know anything about FDA labeling regulations you know that means the food only has to have at least 3 percent beef and lamb in the food. It could have more than 3 percent beef and lamb, but it might not.
Salmon oil is a nice ingredient. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acid which is good for your dog’s skin and coat, among other things. The food also contains dried blueberries which are an antioxidant or natural preservative. Rosemary is also a natural preservative. If your dog is prone to seizures, you should steer clear of foods containing rosemary since it has been connected to seizures.
Yucca Schidigera Extract is often used as an anti-inflammatory and as an anti-arthritic for old dogs. It’s also supposed to be good for the skin, to fight dandruff, and to help prevent hair loss. Dog food companies may also like to add it to their products because, according to research, it helps remove the stink from dog poop.
Finally, the food has several popular fermentation products. These products have become popular in the last few years to help dogs digest their food better. Coincidentally, dog food companies have been adding these ingredients as they have added more peas and cellulose (another kind of fiber-as-filler) to foods.
In terms of calories, the food has 3478 kcal/kg – 1 cup (100 grams) provides 348 kcal of metabolizable energy, calculated value. This is an average dog food in terms of calories.
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food nutrient profiles for All Life Stages
|Crude Protein||(Not Less Than)||26.00%|
|Crude Fat||(Not Less Than)||13.00%|
|Crude Fiber||(Not More Than)||3.50%|
|Moisture||(Not More Than)||11.00%|
The dry matter basis figures for this food are: 29.2 percent protein; 14.6 percent fat; 3.9 percent fiber; and 48.3 percent carbohydrates.
This food has moderate protein and a moderately low percentage of fat. The fiber content is low to average for most kibbles while the carb percentage is high compared to many kibbles.
We like many of the ingredients in this food. We also like their commitment to no corn, no wheat, no soy, etc., and using natural foods (though “natural” is kind of vague). However, we would really like to see the beef and lamb in the first five ingredients. We’re not fans of the peas either. Still, we have to say that if you are being cost conscious, this looks like a pretty good dog food.
Where can you buy Whole Earth Farms dog food?
You can buy Whole Earth Farms dog food from Chewy.com, PetFlow.com, Wag.com, and other pet food delivery sites. You can also buy it from Petco and from Amazon.com.
We like many of the ingredients in these foods and we like the fact that Merrick/Whole Earth Farms is marketing these foods for less. You shouldn’t have to be rich to be able to feed your dog a healthy diet or a decent dog food. We can find things to criticize about some of the foods but, overall, Whole Earth Farms dog foods look like pretty good dog foods. Recommended. At least give them a try if you are looking for a food in this price range.